Claim and Update Your Google My Business Profile For Better SEO
The Sprocket Report
Since the whole point of digital marketing is to be found by customers, if you are ignoring Google My Business, you are only hurting yourself – and your business. It’s free and simple, so just take care of it already. Read on for the whys and hows:
Yes, there are other search engines, but Google is still the behemoth in the room, so playing their game just makes sense and the more ways you play, the better. Google My Business (GMB) is free and available to anyone with an address and that doesn’t just mean storefronts. If you provide a service at the client’s location or work out of your home, you can still have a GMB profile by using the “service area” option in which a local area will be listed, but not your address.
A GMB listing gives you an additional way to show up in search results such as on a map or in the top local results pack. It also helps support your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by linking to your website and other Google products.
Not sure if your business already has a profile? Start by typing your business name into the Google search box and hitting return. If you are on a computer, the left side of the search page may show a number of results including ads, images, a snippet or other bits of information in addition to the regular list of results. On the right side of the screen, however, is where the knowledge panel shows up and if there is one for your business, then there already is an account. If you can’t track down who has access to it, there are steps you can follow to reclaim it.
Once you have access, take the time to fill out all the information as fully as possible. It’s important to be consistent in how you identify your business so if your name is “ABC, Incorporated,” don’t use “Inc.” instead or leave it off entirely. Also, know the best search terms for people looking for a business like yours and use them appropriately in your description.
You will be asked to verify your business by Google and your profile will not be public until you do, so be sure you follow the instructions carefully.
Once your profile is public, you can update on which holidays you are closed, post events and special offers, and upload photos. Customers will be able to ask you questions, make appointments, add photos of their own, and review your business. They can also suggest changes to your profile, so it’s important to routinely check to see if your information is still correct and whether there are questions that need answering or reviews that need a response. Always answer customer comments, even if they are negative. It shows you are professional and lets other visitors see a happy ending to the story. If a happy ending seems unlikely, make a simple apology and offer to take the discussion offline.
You can also track how many visitors have seen your profile and how they found it if you check the Insights report. You can even see who clicked to call you while viewing your GMB knowledge panel.
GMB evolved out of some previous Google products such as Google Local and so some businesses such as shops, restaurants and home services may find it more useful than others. Still, every business should have a profile, particularly if your competition doesn’t. It’s not tricky to set up, but if you’d rather pass along this task, we have several Sprocket teammates who do this routinely. Just give us a call and we’ll get it taken care of for you.